Maria Fernanda comes to Stanford from Bogotá, Colombia where she earned a B.A in Anthropology and a Master of Arts in Archaeology from the Universidad de Los Andes. She has worked in sustainable development and heritage issues for non-governmental organizations and Colombian public entities such as the Ministry and the Secretary of Culture. She is currently conducting fieldwork in two communities of African descent declared as national and world heritage in Colombia and Brazil. She examines how and why Afro-descendant heritage became a critical instrument to recognize cultural diversity in these countries. Ultimately, she evaluates if heritage proclamations are useful instruments to attend to broader issues of economic inequality and political rights for minorities. Topics of primary interest include intangible heritage, identity, heritage ethics, multiculturalism and the political uses of memory.